In April, a statewide campaign to crack down on texting while driving will put to work methods that Kentucky Highway Safety Director Bill Bell says produced 350 distracted driving citations in four test counties over just three months. That is more than the whole state issued in the law’s first year, 2011. These practices involve one driver and one spotter in an unmarked vehicle, watching for drivers using mobile devices.
Despite these practices’ success, Kentucky may not be able to afford it, for now, beyond one month.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has sent the General Assembly the Recommended Highway Plan that if enacted would give nearly $7 billion of state and federal funding to road projects across the Commonwealth.
Calloway County’s Fiscal Court is endorsing a speed limit increase for parts of KY-80 in Calloway and Graves counties. County Judge Executive Larry Elkins says increasing the speed limit from 55 mph to 65 would allow for a smoother flow of private and commercial traffic.
Governor Steve Beshear is expected to be in western Kentucky next week to make an announcement regarding speed changes on sections of KY 68/80. Kentucky Transportation spokesman Keith Todd says a press conference is tentatively set for Tuesday in Christian County.
Campaign and other temporary advertising signage illegally placed on state highway rights of way will be removed to maintain safety. According to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials, signs show up along state highways in greater numbers in the month prior to an election.
“Political signs and other advertising signs can limit sight-distance, especially near intersections, blocking the view of drivers attempting to spot oncoming traffic. The signs also create a safety hazard for highway mowing crews,” said Jim LeFevre, chief district engineer for KYTC District 1, based in Paducah.